Wenger drew severe criticism from several quarters when it was revealed that he was travelling to Rome on deadline day to officiate a charity football match. However, the Gunners pulled off a surprise, managing to land Welbeck late into the day for a fee around £16 million.
The French manager has now revealed that if he had stayed in London rather than flying to Rome for a charity game, Welbeck would not be an Arsenal player.
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, he said:
If I had not travelled that day, Welbeck would not be here. I’ll explain that a bit later but the coincidence made that because I was on my way. If I had stayed at home, Welbeck would not be here today. That’s the truth.
We are in 2014 and you can always be in touch with everybody even when you travel. The advantage of that day was I had to get up at six o’clock in the morning and I was available the whole day.
There were some rumours in the media surrounding the signing of Danny Welbeck as they claimed that Arsene Wenger didn’t actually sign the Englishman from Manchester United but chief executive Ivan Gazidis waited for the manager to leave the country before signing a player behind his back.
The conspiracy theory looks a bit odd considering that Wenger is known as a dictator who runs every aspect of Arsenal and nothing happens at the club without his say, so the rumour of a manager of the stature of Wenger being ‘duped’ by his own chief executive seems to be nothing short of day dreaming from the media.
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Welbeck would not be the first player signed by Arsenal when Wenger was out of the country as Alexis Sanchez, David Ospina, and Mathieu Debuchy were also signed while in Brazil. He does not need to be in London to complete deals as he has shown in previous summers, but his comments also did not help the situation as it has left a lot of room for interpretation.
The Englishman arrived at Arsenal with damaged confidence and the French manager’s views wouldn’t have helped. It remains to be seen whether these words are a tactic from Wenger to fire Welbeck up or maybe he would have explained his thoughts coherently. On a positive note, thankfully he went to Rome then and perhaps he should go back there next summer for a couple of months.
What do you say Gooners? Share your thoughts in the comments below.